Giving of Yourself: Tips for Building Trust With Your Teammates

Giving of Yourself: Tips for Building Trust With Your Teammates by Laura Stack #productivity

“A relationship without trust is like a cell phone without service. All you can do is play games." – Origin unknown Business is supposed to be strictly about financials and hardnosed, logic-based decisions, based solely on what's best for the company and its shareholders. Right? This seems to be the public perception of business, anyway, fostered by the popular media and sadly, by certain corporations where the quest for cash regularly overrides human concerns. Those of us who actually deal with businesses on a daily basis know this perception is mostly untrue. What’s more important that the human side of business—the most important asset? In large businesses, whole departments exist that do nothing but find good workers and try to keep them happy. Of course, there's an equilibrium poin … [Read more...]

Happy (Work) Days: Appoint Yourself the Team Morale Officer

Happy (Work) Days: Appoint Yourself the Team Morale Officer by Laura Stack #prductivity

“I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance, but by our disposition." – Martha Washington, America's first First Lady. Few things are more depressing than working in an environment where the negativity just grinds you down. I suspect most of us have experienced this, and many still do; otherwise, the percentage of engaged workers would be higher. But does unhappiness arise from the job itself, or do the workers bring it with them? If you see work as a penance you must perform to pay the bills, you just might be the latter. Even if have a horrible job, remember: with few exceptions, you choose where you work. If you can't find anything else, t … [Read more...]

Accomplishing More by Doing Less

Do less, accomplish more.

Do less but get more done? How does that work, exactly? Tune in to my podcast today and I'll tell you! … [Read more...]

Yearning to Be Free: The Importance of Information Sharing

Yearning to Be Free: The Importance of Information Sharing by Laura Stack #productivity

Information is power. The secreting or hoarding of knowledge or information may be an act of tyranny camouflaged as humility.” – Robin Morgan, American political theorist. Some activists like to say information yearns to be free, and we should allow anyone access to it. I don't agree that this should always be so, but it's definitely the best policy for you and your co-workers. Everyone on a team should have open access to all shared data at any time (click to tweet), insofar as it's possible—especially since our current technology makes electronic access simple and easy. Most of us have experienced the dreaded information silo, where valuable work data dams up within one team or under the control of one individual, either because of deliberate hoarding, incompatible technology, or la … [Read more...]

Quietly Toxic: How to Deal With Team Members Who Couldn’t Care Less

Quietly Toxic: How to Deal With Team Members Who Couldn't Care Less by Laura Stack #productivity

“If you can't get rid of a toxic team member, isolate them.” – Dan Rockwell, American business blogger at Leadership Freak.   Few things kill productivity faster than a toxic teammate—someone so awful they poison the workplace environment. (click to tweet) You can work around or repair a lack of resources, poor training, terrible leadership, an uncertain future, shoddy work processes, even micromanaging; however, toxic workers destroy from the inside out. Like a cancer, their dissatisfaction and distrust eventually metastasize to others, leading to a sick team that nothing short of radical surgery can save. A bad attitude is contagious and spreads quickly. Unfortunately, team-wreckers aren't always obvious. Gossips, saboteurs, and unhappy loudmouths usually make themselves known … [Read more...]

Encouraging Strategic Thinking Among Team Members

Encouraging Strategic Thinking Among Team Members Podcast by Laura Stack

How do you create a culture of thinking strategically? Listen to my podcast today and find out! (C) 2015 Laura Stack, All Rights Reserved. … [Read more...]

The Breaking Point: What’s Your Team’s Minimum Operating Capacity?

The Breaking Point: What's Your Team's Minimum Operating Capacity? by Laura Stack #productivity

"Bus factor (noun): the number of people that need to get hit by a bus before your project is completely doomed." – Brian W. Fitzpatrick, American software developer and author. In recent years, the software development field has contributed a significant number of productivity terms, concepts, and methodologies to the business world at large. No surprise there, since software development is a fast-paced field that prizes speed. Admittedly, not all these ideas have come to the rest of us unchanged; the methodologies of Scrum and Agile Project Management, for example, don't quite work for most other disciplines, though many of us can adapt the underlying principles to our own work. Brian W. Fitzpatrick, author of Team Geek, defines one software development concept, the "bus factor," in t … [Read more...]

National Speakers Association Inducts Laura Stack into the Speaker Hall Of Fame

CPAE - Laura giving a speech with statue

National Speakers Association (NSA) Inducts Productivity Keynote Speaker and Bestselling Author, Laura Stack, into the Speaker Hall Of Fame The National Speakers Association (NSA) inducted keynote speaker and bestselling author Laura Stack, MBA, CSP, CPAE, aka “The Productivity Pro®,” into the Speakers Hall of Fame at a gala celebration in Washington DC on the evening of July 21, 2015. The NSA celebrated the careers of Laura and her four fellow inductees in an annual ceremony honoring professional speakers who have reached the very pinnacle of their profession. Laura joins a select group, including former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, President Ronald Reagan, and Stack’s hero, Zig Ziglar, who first inspired her speaking career 25 years ago. Globally, there are fewer than 175 profes … [Read more...]

Yakkety-Yak: Top Ways Coworkers Waste Your Time

Yakkety-Yak: Top Ways Coworkers Waste Your Time by Laura Stack, MBA, CSP, CPAE

"Much talking is the cause of danger. Silence is the means of avoiding misfortune. The talkative parrot is shut up in a cage. Other birds, without speech, fly freely about."—Sakya Pandita, 13th century Tibetan spiritual leader. The gift of language is something like being your own boss, in that the good news and bad news are basically the same. In this case, the good news is, we humans have the capacity to communicate more effectively than any other species on Earth, and we can use it for great good. The bad news? We have the capacity to communicate more effectively than any other species on Earth, and we waste it on stupid things. During a recent survey, I asked my readers about the things their coworkers do to waste their time. My goal was to raise awareness about unproductive b … [Read more...]

Testing an Assumption: Are Happy Teams Really More Productive?

Testing an Assumption: Are Happy Teams Really More Productive?

“The driving force seems to be that happier workers use the time they have more effectively, increasing the pace at which they can work without sacrificing quality.”—Daniel Sgroi, British economist. We tend to take certain things for granted in the business field. For example, we once assumed—because we’ve seen it again and again—that successful entrepreneurs almost always fail before they succeed in a big way. But research published in the Harvard Business Review proved this a myth years ago. Indeed, previous failure does not determine future success. Some entrepreneurs succeed on their very first try, and those who’ve failed before succeed no more often than those who haven’t. But I’m happy to report that another “everyone knows” fact actually enjoys support from the research communit … [Read more...]